This month sees the creation of a new supply chain business which brings together Culina Logistics and Baylis Logistics under the Culina title, part-owned by Luxembourg-based TML Invest - the investment arm of Theo Müller, owner of the Müller Dairy Group.
The new company, which has a starting turnover of £125M, will provide its customers with: a range of ambient and multi temperature services; a national warehousing and transport network; and an enhanced range of systems and services.
The business now employs 1,300 people and will operate from nine sites - including a new site at Haverhill - occupying in total 135,000m2 of space. It has a fleet of 250 vehicles and 550 trailers.
"Our aim is to be the UK's leading food and drink logistics specialist," says chief executive, Thomas van Mourik. "Our enhanced service offering will include a cross-fertilisation of ideas, experience and best practice from across the original Baylis and Culina operations.
"We'll be working even closer with our customers on their strategic requirements and using the greater strengths of the new business to deliver more comprehensive supply chain solutions."
Group operations director Rien Brakel adds: "Chilled customers will see potential economies of scale in our ability to offer a combined solution incorporating their ambient ranges.
"Ambient customers will have a ready-made solution as their sector moves towards chilled disciplines, including daily ordering, as well as stockless regional distribution centres with 24/7 customer services and sales and operations planning teams."
Culina believes the integration of its systems will help customers to speed up administration, optimise inventory and cut associated costs. The increased network capability will also offer more storage and delivery options, it claims.
A range of value-added services, including product customisation, will help to meet the increasing demand from retailers for shelf-ready products and the growing use of promotional activity by manufacturers to drive sales volumes.
Culina is already in negotiations with several multi-temperature food and drink manufacturers.